Oswego, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced the sentencing of an Oswego man, who was accused earlier this year of committing criminal sexual acts and abuse against an individual in his care.

On November 2, 2016 Brandon Walker of Oswego (DOB 04/11/94), who pled guilty in August to one count of Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree, a class "E" felony, was sentenced by the Honorable James K. Eby to seven days’ incarceration in the Oswego County Jail followed by 10 years’ probation. A plea to 10 years of probation, on the top count of the indictment, was recommended by the Justice Center with the consent of the victim in order to avoid re-traumatization during trial testimony. However, in sentencing the defendant, Judge Eby cited his intention to show the defendant what consequences the defendant could face upon failure to comply with the terms of probation and sentencing. 

The sentence also includes an order of protection, waiver of his right to appeal the conviction and waiver of his right to appeal any administrative findings by the Justice Center including a finding that would bar the defendant for life from working with vulnerable New Yorkers. The case stems from an incident that occurred in October 2015 at Oswego Hospital, which operates a program licensed by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH). The defendant, a therapy aide, allegedly escorted his victim, who was an inpatient receiving treatment, to a private area of the hospital where the sex crime was committed.

“When staff prey on individuals receiving care and treatment they are not only breaking the law, they are interfering with treatment in profound ways,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “The victim spoke at sentencing and described the impact the defendant’s conduct had on the victim’s life, namely increased fear, inability to trust male medical staff, and worsened post-traumatic stress disorder. This defendant has now been held accountable for his conduct and the victim can move forward.” 

Sex crimes under the state penal law include sexual contact of any kind between an employee and a patient when the employee has reason to know their patient is placed at a facility licensed or certified by OMH. 

Walker was terminated by Oswego Hospital when the abuse was discovered. The Justice Center led the investigation with the assistance of the Oswego Police Department and the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted by Justice Center Assistant Special Prosecutor Deanndra Macomber.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center began operations on June 30, 2013.  It operates a toll-free hotline that receives reports of allegations of abuse, neglect and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Anyone who witnesses or suspects the abuse or neglect of a person with special needs can make a report. Mandated reporters who have reasonable cause to suspect that a reportable incident has occurred by staff must report it to the Justice Center immediately upon discovery.  The Justice Center is not a first responder so if a report involves an emergency situation, the caller is instructed to hang up and dial 9-1-1.

The Justice Center is authorized to investigate all reports of abuse and neglect, pursue administrative sanctions against staff found responsible for misconduct and its Special Prosecutor/Inspector General shares jurisdiction with local district attorneys to prosecute criminal offense allegations. The Justice Center notifies local district attorneys of all potential criminal cases.

Justice Center Individual and Family Support advocates provide guidance and information to victims, their families, personal representatives and guardians about the reporting and investigation process, offer support during criminal court proceedings and are available to accompany victims during interviews and court appearances.